Poetry slams and cafe subculture aside, writing poetry has always been the province of obsessed, driven individuals who just want to be left alone. For every Charles Bukowski or Ezra Pound, there are a million poor dead souls waiting to live on through the dust they left behind on undiscovered piles of paper in an attic somewhere. On the other hand, slightly more vibrant and youngish poet Howard Altmann presents In This House ($15.95, Turtle Point Press) with special guest actress Patricia Clarkson. Clarkson — that sleek and serenely diaphanous actress you may recognize from Six Feet Under and Vicky Cristina Barcelona — has formed something of a mutual-admiration society with Altmann lately. It's no wonder: Poet and champion award-winner John Ashbery says things like, “(He) interrogates the sky, the light, the world, about their intentions,” which generally tends to make sleek and serene individuals admire people who do things like that.

Tue., Aug. 3, 7 p.m., 2010

LA Weekly